Social Skills for Girls with ADD (ADHD)
Not all girls with ADD (ADHD) have social problems. Some
girls with ADD (ADHD) are very popular because of their outgoing
personality, their energy, or their humor. Many girls with
ADD (ADHD), however, struggle to fit in with peers.
A girl with hyperactive/impulsive type ADD (ADHD) may have
peer problems because she tends to be bossy or domineering.
She may talk too much and interrupt other girls when they
try to speak.
By contrast, girls who are primarily inattentive may have
peer problems because they are shy or because they have trouble
keeping up with the verbal give and take of other girls.
One of the most supportive and healing experiences, for
females of any age with ADD (ADHD), is to join a group of
other females who have the same struggles. Many, for the first
time, feel understood and accepted by other females. A girls
support group can be a "safe" place to talk about
worries and to learn about ADD (ADHD) and ways to manage problems.
Check with your school counselor to see if such a group
could be formed at your daughter's elementary school.
Look for a professional in your community who offers
social skills groups for girls with ADD (ADHD). There
is growing recognition that many children need help to
develop good social skills, and social skills groups for
children are more easily found today compared to a number
of years ago.
If you can't find a group for your daughter, think about
working with other mothers to form a group. CHADD (Children
and Adults with ADD) is a national advocacy group with
many local chapters. On the CHADD website, www.chadd.org,
you can look for the CHADD group nearest you. CHADD is
a strictly volunteer organization whose members are parents
of children with ADD (ADHD) and adults with ADD (ADHD).
By announcing your interest in a girls support group at
a CHADD meeting, you are sure to encounter other parents
with similar concerns.
Many parents recognize their daughter's social difficulties,
but approach them in a way that only makes their daughter
feel worse about herself. Cathi Cohen, a clinical social worker
who has specialized in teaching social skills to children
for many years, has developed a program to guide parents in
positive, constructive ways to support the development of
good social skills in their child.
Cohen's approach is a very practical, step-by-step approach
that parents and kids can relate to. She gives guidance about
ways to practice new skills at home, and then begin to use
them at school and with friends. Each skill builds on the
one before, helping your daughter to feel more confident.
Resources for parents:
Raise Your Child's
Social IQ by Cathi Cohen, LCSW provides easy to follow,
step-by-step advice about how to help your daughter develop
better social skills.
Girls with ADHD contains helpful information about social
skills issues and other challenges for girls at each stage
of development from preschool through high school.